Diablo 3 Beta Population Growth

Blizzard have stated on numerous occasions that the Diablo 3 beta test is predominantly to test technical aspects of Diablo 3’s delivery, namely the downloader and server infrastructure. That doesn’t fully explain why the population of testers is still very small however but in answer to that question Bashiok clarified why it’s low and at which points it’s likely to expand.

Most people don’t play in public games. The default game mode is private. People have to specifically set their game to public, or use the matchmaker to find a game to be in the ‘public pool’. Most people aren’t doing either of those things.

We have actual total population numbers at any given time, though, and we’re well aware of it and monitoring how many people we want to let in and when.

As the test is mainly for the downloader, patcher, launcher, various behind-the-scenes services, and server hardware, there are specific updates or milestones for these we’re tracking and they will likely determine more invites. For instance, if we have a big update coming for the installer there’s no reason to let people in now, we’d wait until the new installer is available, invite a bunch of people, and see how it does. Similarly if we’re expecting new server hardware we wouldn’t be too interested in stress testing what we’re using right now, we’d wait until we got the new hardware before we cared to let too many more people in.

Source: Blizzard US.

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28 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Beta Population Growth

  1. It makes sense for their goals… but I would have thought testing-to-capacity would generate more data from the get-go to help their forecasting.

    Guess not.

  2. Incidentally, it appears Blizzard employees have been given many more extra invites to dish out to their friends. However they aren’t simply activation codes; you have to give your ID to the employee for them to activate it that way. Presumably it’s to stop employees, or people they gave the codes to, from selling them on ebay.

    Source: SC map making site with a guy who got into F&F beta from his Blizzard friend.

  3. Yes that’# right Lanth, although employees have been told not to give them to anyone working in press or fansites.

    I can understand Blizzard’s goals in testing and they make total sense, however it is having a negative knock-on effect on fans of the series and the community as the invite process drags out. There is less hunger and excitement for it and after the release delay announcement, interest in the game has flagged. I do think they could have thought their timings through a little better because the lack of content in the Beta means testers stop playing quite quickly. Also some of the people who have received invites are generally not that interested in the game but more interested in saying ‘hey I am on the Beta’, play it for a few days then stop. The selection process so far has been quite poor, but that does not surprise me one bit.

    • Think of the whole process — from early announcement to now and beyond — as an experiment for Titan’s release.

    • With the delay out till next year, I really think they should plan on rolling out more content to beta testers. That can easily be done by rolling out Nightmare/Hell/Inferno difficulties, with accompanying experience and clvl cap raise, and unlocking new skills and runes.

      Their argument for making it so short was not wanting to put out too much of the storyline. This approach wouldn’t require any new storyline, but would give them more content to test. They might discover that in skill XXX, hardly anyone uses Indigo rune and everyone uses Crimson, so they could look at that for rebalancing prior to releasing the game.

    • You may be right that interest is tanking at this particular moment… but anyone who lost interest INSTANTLY gets it back if they’re invited to the beta, regardless of time passed.  I doubt Blizzard needs to worry about people no longer wanting the beta or the game because they’ve dragged out the invites.

  4. it is having a negative knock-on effect on fans of the series and the community as the invite process drags out. There is less hunger and excitement for it and after the release delay announcement, interest in the game has flagged.

    • i disagree entirely.   Us super fans still check this site daily.  If thats a waning of interest then Blizzard should be jumping for joy.
      Sure, the average gamer may say, ok, I’m bored with playing part of act 1 for the umpteenth time.  But to say that that is them losing interest in the game as a whole is short sighted.

      This is nothing more than those who didn’t get into beta whining about it.

  5. Got email from Blizzard today!
    It was about the Foo Fighters at Blizzcon….

  6. I’m hoping for a: Pre-Order Diablo 3 and receive a Beta Key! Hey, didn’t it happen in the StarCraft 2 beta?

  7. They don’t want to dish out many invites to fans but they want the fans to buy the game once its released. Go figure…

  8. ^^Thomasj, you sound as if you feel entitled to participate in any game you plan on purchasing’s beta. You’re not, but good luck with the entitlement complex! =p

    • Why would I have an entitlement complex ? You assume too much as always. Comments like yours just make you look stupid at best. There are much better betas to be in than Diablo 3 I can assure you of that.

  9. I’m going to quote this post from the top of page 7 of that thread because I think it provides some good insight into why blizzard is doing this so small and why people shouldn’t hold their breath when it comes to the possibility of large invite waves:

    “Generally server performance testing is done using automated test tools and scripts. This allows the project teams and QA (Quality Assurance) personal to do performance testing without enlisting thousands or millions of customers every time they would like to test a change to their code base. I know this because I am a Test Lead for a large scale IT department.

    So in other words, don’t assume they need Beta testers to test hardware performance. Its more likely, as Blizzard mentions, that they need to test different client configurations which is a much smaller scale of testers.”

    So yeah… it makes sense… People expect this to be like a WoW beta or the Sc2 beta but it’s probably going to be just like the Diablo 2 one… that had a tiny tiny amount of people relative to the amount of people who actually ended up buying it and they were only allowed to go to Blood Raven…

    • I think you’re confused about the D2 beta.

      There was a closed beta, which had approx 1,000 participants and included all of Act 1 and all 5 characters and skills up to clvl 12.

      Then there was the open beta ‘stress test’ which was free for anyone to get, which had the Barbarian with skills unlocked to clvl 6 and finished at Blood Raven.

      Comparing the D3 beta to that, the D3 beta is like the D2 stress test but limited to only a few thousand people – the worst of both worlds.

      • Oh sorry, then I guess this one is a combination of the two… still a tiny amount of people with a similar level cap and all the classes but only a small portion of content… that doesn’t invalidate the post I quoted though…

  10. “Most people don’t play in public games”……..DUH morons!!! People would rather have offline singleplayer but “private game” is the best they can do. Take a hint buffoons!!

      • The other problem is that public games aren’t any good, since most people in the beta have done all the content 50x already. That and the game is easy early on so people aren’t playing in groups or doing co-op. Everyone just runs their own way, racing to the bottom of the dungeon asap. And that’s not really any fun, hence private game mode.

        • Even the guys from TWSK separated up during their first play through of the game. I mean sure the loot that drops is for you, but what happens when the other guy is killing a rare monster and you’re not there… From TWSK’s beta they also didn’t talk about loot drops, opening treasure chests, and destroying barrels when they were together, is that in beta at all, or are they doing personal drops at launch?

    • duh u beat me to it! 

      is too late for them to giv us an offline mode even if we all boycott public right now tho……. not like it needed a boycott from the sound of it.

  11. id play this beta in and out till the games release. i am playing nothing else now quit wow a while back.. it saddens me that people simply play for few days max lvl 13 all classes and stop after maxing crafting. 😕

  12. the only thing that piss me off is that they ask us to check on a regular basis for contest or opt-in,everyday i check on my mail and see some D3 or Blizz email…all gdamn scam,its always hope,then sorrow

  13. I’m not liking this auto “game finder”. I want to be able to choose myself which games I want to play and what kind of public games I want to create (ie. specific runs, or specific quest, specific trade etc). Also, I hope we can name our games whatever we want. I really dislike how SC2 did away with custom map naming in favor of just the actual map name that doesn’t tell anyone anything =\.

  14. Mmm what puzzle me is his claim that most people do not participate in public game. So when Blizzard claims that MOST people play the online version of D2 and use it as a justification … were they just talking about people going online and play private gaming session?  Shrug, whatever it is, perhaps as suspected, they were pushing for these features to monetise the game through the online features, so forcing people to play online only does make sense in this manner, at least from their point of view.

    As for the beta, I don’t think it is surprising that the number is limited, at least in the beginning. Although  if they are smart, they would have a pseudo-open beta session before the game launch to test the demand made on the server by their new feature which requires Everyone to log on to BNet and play through a BNet public/private game session.

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